Upstart Live Documents eyes Office Live Workspace and Google Docs

Do we suddenly have a new contender for our On Demand office applications? InstaColl, creator of Live Documents says so. But right now it's only an announcement. The client for sharing Office application documents isn't available quite yet. (And their download page says they only support Microsoft Office 2000/XP/2003 - no Office 2007. Hmm.)

The Live Documents service competes directly with Microsoft's Office Live Workspace , currently in beta. The idea is to eliminate all the versions of documents floating around between companies in our email systems, and instead share them through an online collaborative server that will securely store the documents, version them, and let you know when a new version is available so you are working on the latest stuff. This is also similar to what Microsoft Groove does, though Groove is more of a peer-to-peer version of Lotus Notes with SharePoint to act as the backend server.

Will we all be storing all of our documents on an online collaboration service? Well, maybe some of them we will. But I can't imagine most CIOs or security organizations being in favor of storing sensitive and proprietary data on other people's servers, though most of the documents on our laptops are probably less secure than a service like Live Documents, Microsoft Office Workspace or Google Docs.

I think what these collaboration and storage services are really saying is that email is getting a bit long in the tooth to manage all of the information overload we endure. If it wasn't for the search capabilities in Office 2007 or one of the desktop search engine tools from Microsoft or Google, I'd never be able to find stuff most of the time. There's just too much information to search through.

I look forward to trying out both the Live Documents and Microsoft Office Workspace services. I'll give you my views on both when that happens.

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